Social media is fun – until it isn’t. The news is filled every day with people who have been harmed because someone shared too much online. If you plan to file for divorce or have already done so, this is not the time to air your dirty laundry on social media platforms. In fact, we encourage you to consider the following as you decide whether to avoid social media altogether.
Is Just Needing to Vent a Reason to Avoid Social Media?
Possibly. ‘Think before you post’ is a good practice during your divorce. If you are angry or upset, you might post something that could backfire on you. Also, what you say about your spouse could get back to them.
Another reason to avoid social media if you feel like venting is because of how the courts might view your post. This is especially true if you have children. Courts generally take a dim view of disparagement because it could hurt your children’s relationship with their other parent.
Maybe just meet a close friend or family member for coffee or lunch if you need to vent about your spouse’s latest escapade.
How Friendly Are Your Friends?
If you have been married a while, you and your soon-to-be-ex probably have mutual friends. At some point, you might have added your spouse’s friends and family members to your friends list. Their loyalty might be divided after you announce your pending divorce. At the very least, an angry social media post could make them uncomfortable. However, the worst-case scenario is that they might forward your post to others and tell your spouse what you are saying.
And angry words are not the only thing you should avoid posting on social media. Talking about a new love interest or an expensive vacation could spell trouble during settlement negotiations.
Will Your Posts Negatively Affect Your Divorce?
We’ve already mentioned a few. For example, disparagement could influence how a family court judge views you. So, avoid social media posts that harm your spouse’s reputation. They could actually hurt your reputation more.
Child custody, visitation, and support could be affected if your social media accounts are full of inappropriate pictures and stories. This could be especially hurtful if your children are in any of the pictures.
Also, most if not all of your online activities are discoverable. This means that you might have to give information from your accounts to your spouse’s attorney. If you avoid social media posts that are too revealing, your spouse won’t have anything to work with.
Will Social Media Posts Upset Anyone?
You and your spouse might be at each other’s throats, figuratively, but remember that more than two people are involved in most divorces. If you have children, they could definitely be embarrassed and upset by your social media. Your parents, extended family, and family friends might be exposed to information that would be deeply upsetting. It’s probably just safer to avoid social media use as much as possible from the time you decide to file for divorce until you receive your final order.
Avoid Social Media and Contact Us if You Want to File for Divorce
Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys. Ms. Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.